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Having suffered with eczema for all of my life, I have found that my flare-ups were more severe when I lived in my native Northeastern Ohio area versus living in the Metro Atlanta area.
As a child, I used Valisone ointments and creams and took liquid Benadryl by prescription, and none of these medications had ever relieved my agony. Holistic treatments failed, and eliminating the usual food allergy suspects such as cow’s milk and wheat from my diet proved to be moot. My eczema was so severe that I was hospitalized for a week after having developed a bacterial infection at age 5. I am now 36 years old, and I had my first pregnancy causing the worst flare-up of my adulthood. I believe that it was hormonal, but this was the only time that I recall having experienced such a horrible bout with eczema since I moved to Atlanta in 1996.
My point is that while growing up in Ohio, I thought that it was the heat that caused my flare-ups when in actuality it was the cooler, drier climate that wreaked havoc on my skin. The coolness seemed to offer relief from the inflammation, but it was a false sense of relief. Hot temperatures caused sweating and the damp skin caused flare-ups as well, but I find that this is not the case in Georgia. It’s as if my skin has become acclimated to the warmer climate and behaves favorably in the hotter temperatures.
One year in November, I worked for a week in Chicago, and my skin resembled maps: my scars from scratching looked like latitudinal and longitudinal lines! For some reason, after about two days without the use of Triamcinolone cream, the scars faded immediately. Since that time, I use paraben-free and phthalate-free lotions on my skin, and lock in moisture as soon as I get out of the shower.
So, by moving to a warmer climate and refraining from using moisturizers that have harsh chemicals, I am able to live a normal life. Yes, I had elephant/alligator skin as a child, . . . heard “STOP SCRATCHING,” wore socks on my hands at night,and left a dead skin mess on my sheets from scratching!
There is hope, and hopefully some of these tips can help.
Do you have a story or tip to share about what’s helped with your eczema? Email us your Scratch Pad tip so that we may publish it and help others!
The recommendations contained in the Scratch Pad are those of the contributor. NEA provides health information from a variety of sources; this information is not intended as medical advice. Persons with questions regarding specific symptoms or treatments should consult a professional health-care provider.